Are The 3 New APS-C Sony Lenses Sony Worth It? A Filmmaker's Review

Are these lenses still relevant? Read to find out.

If you were one of those creatives who was worried about Sony giving up on their APS-C lens lineup, don’t worry. They recently announced not one, not two, but three Brand New lenses for Sony E-Mount APS-C.

We’ve got the 10 to 20 mm F4 power zoom G lens, the 15 mm F1.4 G lens, and an 11 mm F1.8 lens.

In this article, I will be debriefing the lenses and overall talk about my experience with each. This will be an honest recommendation on where I think these lenses fit in the current ecosystem. Are these relevant? Well, read more to find out.

One note I would like to make is that in the footage from the video linked above, I shot all three lenses on the Sony ZVE 10. Hope you enjoy.

Focal Lengths and Conversions

At first, I was somewhat confused as to why Sony would release three wide-angle lenses simultaneously. The more I thought about it. However, I did the math to convert those focal lenses into our typical 35mm total frame equivalents; it makes quite a bit of sense.

  • The 10-20mm converts to 15-30mm total frame equivalent, which would fit in the place of a 16-35mm).

  • The 15mm converts to 22.5 mm, which is close to a 24 mm lens.

  • The 11mm converts to about 16.5mm, which would be translated as a 16mm lens.

As much as they sound like they're all clumped together in the APS-C realm, once you do those mathematical conversions, you'll notice they are close to the standard focal lengths creatives are used to.

Shot on the Sony 10-20mm Sony E Mount Lens.

Moment Sony SELP1020 G E PZ 10 20mm F4 G Lens thumbnail

Sony

E PZ 10-20mm F4 G Lens

Looking for a compact ultra-wide lens for your Sony? The E PZ 10-20mm F4 G packs a punch for its extremely small size with great autofocus and natural bokeh

Buy for $648.00
Moment Sony SEL11 F18 E 11mm F1 8 Lens thumbnail

Sony

E 11mm F1.8 Lens

Looking for an ultra-wide-angle prime for your Sony? The E 11mm F1.8 Lens has a dynamic perspective in stills and movies with great bokeh and advanced autofocus

Buy for $498.00
Moment Sony SEL15 F14 G E 15mm F1 4 G Lens thumbnail

Sony

E 15mm F1.4 G Lens

Looking for a versatile Sony lens? The E 15mm F1.4 G Lens will give you outstanding performance, natural bokeh, and great focus control shooting stills or video

Buy for $648.00

Using the Lenses with Full Frame Cameras

Overall, I am thrilled with the quality of all three lenses. I thought they matched up nicely to one another — composed a decent sharpness with each frame, and I didn’t encounter huge problems with flaring or chromatic aberrations. However, they didn’t necessarily have that “wow” factor I’ve achieved from most of Sony’s newer lenses. But what they lack definitely makes up for it in their tiny size and weight. All three lenses are incredibly compact; if you’re worried about making your kit lighter or not taking up too much space, all 3 lenses will be an excellent option in an APS-C or frame with so many cameras.

On cameras like the A74 or A1, you can use the built-in APS-C crop mode to use these lenses. With the A74, you’re still obtaining 14-megapixel stills and more than 4K video; not to mention, if you’re shooting 4K 60 frames per second on that camera, it will be cropped in regardless. So now your 24 or 30 frames per second will be the same as your 60 frames per second. Pretty neat that these lenses have become more viable for a full-frame system. The versatility is undoubtedly there.

Shot on the Sony 10-20mm Sony E Mount Lens.

Shot on the Sony 10-20mm Sony E Mount Lens.

A Deeper Look At Each Lens

While I've been talking about these lenses as a set, that's probably not the way people are going to shop. So, let's take a look at each of these lenses individually.

Shot on the Sony 10-20mm Sony E Mount Lens.

10-20mm Power Zoom F4 G Lens

First, we've got the 10-20mm Power Zoom F4 G lens. This, as far as I can tell, is a direct replacement for the 10-18mm F4 lens that people have been popularly using for many years. While it's been a while since I've used that lens, I remember not being a huge fan. This new Sony lens definitely feels like a huge step up for me.

It has an updated focus motor, so the manual focus and autofocus work wonderfully. With the inclusion of a power zoom, you can achieve smooth zooms without having to twist its ring. Additionally, there is a customizable button and an auto focus/manual focus switch. It offers internal zooming, so it doesn't extend and is about half of the Tamron's 11-20mm weight. Although, this one is only an F4, whereas a Tamron is an F2.8.

Shot on the Sony 11mm Sony E Mount Lens.

11mm F1.8 Lens

Finally, we’ve got the 11mm F1.8. Out of these three lenses, this is the only one that’s not considered a part of the G series. To clarify, I’ve seen a lot of people call G-series lenses the same as the G-Master lenses, which is entirely incorrect."While the G series lenses offer improved quality from base level lenses without that distincion, the GM series lenses are the cream of the crop quality that’s hard to beat.

Thus, the 11mm took me by surprise and perhaps impressed me the most. Because it wasn’t a G-series lens, I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as the others. I initially believed that the extra-wide focal length would be too difficult to work with, but the quality was fantastic. I think for many people, this lens will be perfect for those needing something ultra-wide with fast and reliable auto-focus.

Shot on the Sony 15mm Sony E Mount Lens.

15mm F1.4 G Lens

"Next, we got the 15mm F1.4. This is a direct competitor to the Sigma 16mm wide lens. I've been recommending the signal lens to many creatives for years, and it is one of the most popular APS-C lenses. This one is much smaller and lighter for a long day's shoot than the Sigma and includes some extra bells and whistles.

You've got a dedicated aperture ring on this lens and the ability to make it click or unclick. We also have a customizable button and an autofocus/manual focus toggle switch. All these extra bells and whistles are typically what we see on Sony's more professional-level lenses. However, I've noticed they've been putting these updated features on all the recent lenses, regardless of pro status. In turn, I get this funny feeling that they threw these extra features on there to make it worth its steeper price over Sigma's current competitor.

With the sigma lens coming in at about USD 400 or CAD 519 — this 15mm lens comes in at USD 750 or 4950 CAD. While it's significantly more expensive than the Sigma lens, I thought this one would be the one of the three to blow me away — but the surprise came from the 11mm instead.

afterbefore
11mm Lens
15mm Lens

Final Thoughts: Which Lens Is Right For You?

So, what are my personal recommendations for someone who is looking into these lenses?

Bottom line — all three of these lenses performed pretty well and did exactly what they're supposed to do. They're incredibly small, very light, and so compact that one could throw all of them in your bag and barely notice a difference. They offer decent image quality with updated features that work wonderfully with the newer Sony camera bodies.

Perhaps the biggest hangup I have are the prices. This isn't a new con in the camera world, particularly when it comes to Sony lenses, as they tend to be much more expensive than their competitors. It's entirely up to you if you're willing to pay the price. And while they offer incredible image quality, it's likely easier to save that money and go with another brand.

Now, I'm not here to say that one lens is better than the other or that one brand is superior to the next. However, investments are always something to consider, and contemplation often differs from creative to creative.

As far as that 15mm lens goes, it didn't offer the "wow" factor I was personally seeking, and its shortcomings didn't match up with the steep price point. I'll probably continue to suggest the 16mm F1.4. Lens from Sigma instead, even though it doesn't have all the bells and whistles this new 15mm does. It's absolutely fantastic in image quality, it's definitely bigger and heavier than this one, but it's also significantly less expensive.

Though, like I said, the one that really impressed me the most was the 11mm. Suppose you're looking for an ultra-wide lens, like for vlogging. In that case, the 11mm F/1.8 is definitely something worth considering as your next purchase.

And as previously mentioned — if you are shooting Sony for a frame, like the A74, these lenses are also an option for those looking for multiple compact lenses with virtually no weight added to the bag. While there are others that you could be gandering at, most of them aren't this tiny and light.

Shot on the Sony 11mm Sony E Mount Lens.

Shot on the Sony 15mm Sony E Mount Lens.

Thanks for tuning in, as I hope genuinely this helps your next lens purchase. Check out my Instagram and YouTube channels for more camera-related content.